The High West Distillery was founded in 2006 by David and Jane Perkins in Park City, Utah. It was a small pot still operation at first with limited distribution. The distillery and their brands have grown since 2006 and they have several very good whiskeys in the market. They source some of their whiskeys from MGP, but they do have many barrels of aged product that they have distilled. I suspect that they will continue to source some of their whiskey in the future. They have a great flavor profile and sell a lot of bottles – probably more than they have the capacity to supply at this time.
The “Double Rye” label gets its name because they use two different types of rye whiskey to create the brand. These whiskeys are from 2 to 7 years of age and include the 95% rye made at MGP and an 80% rye made at their distillery. Barley malt is the only other grain used in making these whiskeys. The whiskey proportions are a trade secret but I suspect that a large percentage is the rye that they have made and includes the younger whiskeys. I do not know who does the blending of their whiskeys, but whoever it is, they are a true craftsperson.
High West Double Rye Whiskey
Age: 2 years old
Nose: Rye grass with some tangy fruit notes – citrus with a hint of cantaloupe? Or is it apricots? Hard to tell as it changes with time in the glass. There is a sweet baking spice note that may be clove that does not change with time.
Taste: Rye grass and that citrus – or is it peaches and apricots? It is really hard to nail down. The clove spice and oak round out the flavors. When tasted with a dried cranberry, the fruit definitely becomes a perfectly ripe peach and the oak and spice fade into the background. When tasted with a pecan the fruit fades to the background, and the baking spices and oak really shine forward.
Nose: A long and lingering finish with lots of sweet oak. The cranberry made the finish sweeter with a peaches and cream note that lasted some time. The pecan made the finish drier with lots of oak and spice.The cigar I am pairing with this whiskey is The Wiseman El Gueguense with its rich tobacco flavor tempered with some notes of caramel and cedar spice. The whiskey made the smoke very creamy with a hint of white pepper. The smoke brought out some hazelnut in the whiskey. It is a good pairing.
Photos Courtesy of Rosemary Miller